I'm forever intrigued by bloodsuckers, but the sexiest monster has once again been popularized with the successes of Twilight and True Blood. I'm actually surprised I didn't see more gothic romance on the Fall runways; then again, we still have London, Milan, and Paris to go. A handful of New York designers delivered sultry, moody looks complete with sharp black outwear, ruffled blouses, lace aplenty, blood-colored tights and tulle, and neck-baring sexiness. Jill Stuart showed a youthful, slightly '80s version that would have garnered any Lost Boy's attention.
If ever I come across a discounted Thomas Paul design, my ears perk up; I love his work. But, in this case, the Thomas Paul Gothic Dessert Plate Set ($23.10, reduced from $38.50) caught my eye because their creepy silhouettes look straight out of The Ring Two. We've got a young girl (Samara), a horse (from the old Morgan horse farm), a boy (Aiden Keller — Naomi Watt's son), and a black crow thrown in there for good measure. Hung on a wall of your kitchen or dining room, they create a dark contemporary motif. You like, or is it too dark for your home?
Earlier this week we checked out Pudel, a brand owned and designed by Lina Osterman, and, as it turns out, we also saw her namesake line which she started in order to design more editorial-friendly, fashion forward pieces. The Lina Osterman line, much like Pudel, is full of gothic-inspired, complicated cottons that have a downtown persona. The Lina Osterman versions, however, have more attitude to them and veer into Rick Owens-like terrain. For Spring 2009 she designed shredded stovepipe jeans, knit cardigans that hang down below the waist, and a heavy chain chest piece that calls up Givenchy Fall 08 in its sheer mass. Today's designers seem to thrive best when they have both accessible and high fashion options for their consumer--no matter in which order these options are borne.
It played up the gothic, witchy mood for Fall 08 perfectly and now it's all up for grabs--today, Luella has our heart pounding. Luella always offers feminine, smart separates, no matter how dramatic her runway show appears to be. We love that her vision is a unified and high fashion one, but that the individual pieces are quite wearable and long-lasting. Check out the entire Fall 09 Luella collection, right here.
Bora Aksu took all of the serious things we've come to expect from a Fall collection and poised them in the Spring Summer. The fussy sleeves, the high necks, the capes, and even the moody music, however, were not without a bit of lightness to make them appropriate for warm weather. Everyone in London might be showing bright colors and excitable outfits but there are a few who will provide us with something for the days when we just haven’t the energy to be so bright. In fact, these are gothic outliers that constitute what we call, the Rodarte aesthetic, which we saw a lot of in London this week. To see our photos from the Bora Asku Spring 2009 show, click here.
Granted, this black crystal chandelier ($7,500) from Neiman Marcus is a bit gothic for some people's tastes, but it still has a compellingly dark appeal. Constructed of black crystal strands that are attached to a hand-forged iron frame, this chandelier would really make your next Vampire Lestat Ball. What do you think? Appealing or no?